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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Particle Physics: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Feb 14, 2001
Scientist: Persis Drell

Particle Physics

Particle Physics
What is the smallest unit of matter making up our world? Thanks to particle physics, the answer to that question keeps getting smaller and smaller.



What's our world made of? What's the smallest unit of matter? These are questions people have been investigating for a long time. Thanks to the field of particle physics, the answers to these questions have been getting smaller and smaller. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

"We want to know what is the smallest building block out of which all matter is made. What are the interactions that hold those building blocks together?"

Persis Drell is a particle physicist at Cornell University.

"I have a nine-year-old son who likes Legos. If you play with Lego's, there's a smallest unit that all other Legos are made from. We're trying to find the smallest building block, out of which all matter is made."

"Now people used to think that the world was made of atoms. Experiments probed the atom and found it had a structure. It was a small nucleus, surrounded by a cloud of electrons. As further experiments in the 20th century probed the nucleus, they found that it was also a composite object, made of protons and neutrons. As yet further experiments probed protons and neutrons, they were found to be made of smaller fractionally charged particles called quarks. To date, we believe that electron-like objects and the quarks are the fundamental building blocks of matter."

In addition to searching for the smallest units of matter, scientists have identified certain fundamental forces such as gravity which hold matter together.

"The field of particle physics is trying to understand those fundamental forces and fundamental particles. Are there yet smaller building blocks? Are there more forces? Those are the questions of particle physics."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.